Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Spring Game Redux: Getting Offensive Part 1


I've been looking around the Internet and soaking in what everyone has been saying. Not sure I have too much that is original to say but that has never stopped me before from sending my voice into a tube that will then enter a series of tubes.

So what did we learn from the Spring Game? Nothing, but are we going to act like it told us a whole bunch? You betcha...(complete with Palin eye wink)

 QB's
Boyd looks to be in a little better shape. He said in a recent interview that he gained 8 pounds during the season.  Wow. This always makes me a bit suspect when we hear about his dedication and leadership.  I think Boyd genuinely wants to lead but also is susceptible to little demons. A few too many cheeseburgers or letting a bad play get to him.  I do think he can lead and has shown his ability. His footwork is slowly improving. But those of us who have watched him play every game, every play know that his is prone to these ridiculous throws about once a game, he still locks onto targets and will force the ball rather than taking the check down, first down throw.

His second interception in the game was that exact what in the world--throw it to the FSU Werner DLineman TD type throw. That can't happen with a championship caliber QB. He threw another underhand almost picked off pass at the goal-line as well rather than throwing the ball away. So positives but with a vanilla D, as Dr. B at Shakin said, he should have ripped it to shreds while easily spreading the ball around. Tajh needs to manage the game but depending on the O-Line he may need to make quicker, better decisions with the football. They aren't going to do him any favors so he becomes all the more important.  When to take the sack, when to throw it away, when to maintain your poise--all these things will be magnified by a sub par O-line. Harper wasn't up to that challenge in 08'.

Stoudt looked better than Spring practice and Roberts looked a little better that Will Procter. Neither have the release or arm strength to be elite QB's but Stoudt is a decent back-up. Tony is done for the season but with the medical redshirt it might be good for him. He needs to re-evaluate whether he wants to be a QB or try to help the team in other ways.

RB's 
Ellington is out with minor surgery which should be nothing. We need him to be explosive to repeat this year. The fact that we missed on some elite RB's in the last class was tempered with the return of Andre. The pistol is encouraging and I love the coaching staff looking for logical solutions to problems. Morris knows the O-Line will be problematic so how do we scheme to help that problem area out? Well get the ball out quickly, increase tempo and throw in the pistol. Beautiful.  Also encouraging that the backs are catching the ball better--we were really horrid on checkdowns to the flats last year (some of that is on Boyd too). This is the area Ellington must improve on to boost his draft stock, that and staying healthy.

Howard has a chance to be a solid contributor and is a decent two as a north/south runner but you would like to see him improve his strength to run some people over more. Bellamy is amazing but can't put the ball on the ground. Still crossing my fingers that he puts it all together. He has been more impressive running between the tackles but has to maintain that focus in the open field, so the ball stays high and tight.  Must improve the blocking but also understanding of assignments and where to line up, knowledge of the plays and scheme.  Hot rod is running out of time (ha). Brooks is an exciting prospect that Morris seems to really like, he showed some flashes during the game.

TE's
Ford is going to be fine as a Dwayne Allen replacement. Still needs some work in the trenches and blocking.  Ford will be a weapon for us and that was another great personnel decision.  Cooper has underachieved. Morris said he has been sick and banged up but hopefully he can put it together because he offers a steady skill set in terms of blocking and catching as a back-up. Seckinger moving to TE is good, I had written him off with the transition but he looked pretty fluid as a TE. He will need to develop now into a TE but is still young and can follow after Ford nicely.  MacLain came in highly recruited and the staff needs to figure out what to do with him. Can he grow into an OT or will he be a major contributor at TE. I think you need to make the decision this year, this summer and stick to it. Smith is a special teamer but had a nice catch and is an above average blocker. He might get some PT this year is a back-up role. He is a special teams contributor as well.

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A blog about all Clemson Tiger University sports--football, basketball, baseball, along with the occasional South Carolina coot bashing.